Cleaning the Graves and Memorials

This is the work party cleaning the grave of Percy Collins who died from illness contracted in France. His younger brother Victor, who was killed in 1918, is also commemorated on the grave.

This website now has background information about all the WW1 names on the Warwick War Memorial, but our dedicated researchers haven’t finished yet!

As there are still many of the fallen for whom we have no photograph, one of our volunteers, Tricia Scott, had the idea of using photos of memorials in Warwick Cemetery. A few of The Fallen had returned from the front injured or ill and died in Warwick. There are more who are commemorated on family graves.

Tricia says, “Having found that there were some families who commemorated their lost soldiers on the graves of mothers and brothers, I started looking for them. I’ve been going through the names of all The Fallen for whom we don’t have a photo, and cross referencing with the memorials listing in the County Record Office, to see if there is any mention of them on a family member’s grave.”

Christine Shaw and Helen Fellows joined Tricia for an all-day work party at the cemetery, uncovering overgrown graves and memorials, and wherever possible cleaning the headstones to make the inscriptions legible.

Tricia’s research has also revealed that groups of soldiers died on the same day in the same battles, and she has been adding that information on their profile pages. Frank Masters was one of them.

She says, “Frank was one of four soldiers listed on the Warwick Memorial who died at the Battle of St. Julien, which was the second phase of the 2nd Battle of Ypres, and was the first occasion when the Germans used chlorine gas against the Allies. The other three were Walter Newton, Bert Mitchell and Herbert Price.”

Project leader, Christine Shaw, said, “It’s so sad. Five men from the Royal Warwickshire Regiment died on 25th September 1915 in the Battle of Loos, and seven were killed on 3rd September 1916. I almost don’t want to to look. Can you imagine how awful it must have been receiving the news of the mounting casualties?”

Here is a picture gallery of some of the graves discovered by Tricia in Warwick Cemetery. Some were completely overgrown or beyond repair, but others now show the inscriptions clearly. (Click on the thumbnail pictures to see them full-size).